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HealthInfo Canterbury

Emotional & physical abuse in teens & young adults


Phone 111 for the police if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

If you or someone else is affected by family violence, call the Family Violence Information Line on 0800‑456‑450. It is available 24 hours, every day.

emotional abuseEverybody deserves to be treated with respect and to feel safe. Abuse is never OK. It is always wrong.

Abuse is any form of physical or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse or neglect that either results in actual harm or could result in harm. Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of your gender, age, race or religion.

There many different types of abuse. Abuse may be one type or a combination of types.

What to do if you are being abused

Getting information helps, but it's also important to tell someone you trust who can support you and help you. This may be someone from your whānau/family, a caregiver, teacher, your school counsellor or social worker, a friend's parents, or your GP or nurse.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell someone about what is going on, especially if someone close is hurting you.You may find it easier to talk anonymously to someone on a telephone helpline.

Phone and helplines

If you prefer to talk to someone anonymously try one of these helplines for advice and support. They are free from any mobile, landline or pay phone.

Freephone 0800‑376-633 (any time) or free txt 234 to speak to a counsellor.

You can also chat online using the webchat between 10 am and 10 pm, Tuesday to Friday and 4:30 pm to 10 pm, Saturday to Monday.

Email any time. Counsellors aim to respond to emails within 24 hours.

The website also has information about different kinds of abuse and supporting friends who might be being abused.

In the links below, you'll find more information and advice about how to get help.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

New Zealand links

Overseas links

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed January 2021.


See also:


Relationships in teens & young adults

Page reference: 50760

Review key: HIEPA-50760